SK Geo Centric, a petrochemical arm of SK Innovation [096770:KS], has teamed up with Paris-based Veolia Environment S.A. [VIE:FP] to develop a circular economy business in Asia, as reported by the Korea Economic Daily on July 26. Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU), the two companies will carry out a joint study on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP), and waste plastics as raw materials for pyrolysis, or thermal decomposition, in Asia. In addition, the two companies will establish a chemical recycling cluster in Ulsan, where SK Innovation’s other petrochemical subsidiary SK Global Chemical (SKGC) will invest USD522.6m to construct South Korea’s largest plastic waste recycling factory by 2025.
SK Geo Centric aims to transform itself into an eco-friendly chemical producer. By studying plastic pyrolysis with the French company, SK Geo Centric seeks to recycle waste plastics that cannot be recycled using traditional methods and have therefore been incinerated or landfilled. Moreover, given that landfilling in the Seoul metropolitan region will be prohibited from 2026, plastic pyrolysis could also serve as an eco-friendly waste treatment alternative. According to SK Geo Centric CEO Na Kyung-soo, the company will keep in line with the eco-friendly trend worldwide, lead the circular economy industry, and expand such efforts into the rest of Asia. The company will build three additional factories in Asia and raise its total waste recycling capacity to 400,000 tons a year in 2030.